Fort Cherry School District

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Graduation rates at Fort Cherry School District are high.
Graduation rates at Fort Cherry School District are high.
Photo credit: Image by Vicki Hamilton from Pixabay

With under 1,000 students, the Fort Cherry School District is a small school district in northern Washington County. Students stay in school, score well on reading and go on to graduate.

Graduation rates are high. 97% of Fort Cherry students who start 9th grade graduate, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Cohort Graduation Rate, which measures how many entering ninth graders actually graduate within four or five years with a traditional diploma. The Fort Cherry graduation rate is substantially better than the statewide graduation rate.

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The student-teacher ratio is 10:1, the Fort Cherry School District website reports. That ratio is way better than the statewide average ratio of 14:1. Smaller class sizes can have significant long-term effects on student achievement, according to a report from the Brookings Institution in 2011 that reviewed two decades of research on the subject.

Fort Cherry School District is a wonderful, supportive, and strong school district. The campus is beautiful, updated, and safe. The elementary center has a creative, kind, and academic feeling

A parent/guardian on the GreatSchools website (2023)

The Fort Cherry School District is rated average by GreatSchools, a nonprofit organization that provides information about schools. Students in the high school are ready for college at about the same level as students on average across the state.

The district itself is mixed suburban (drawing from McDonald and Midway) and rural (Robinson and Mount Pleasant Townships). It includes the unincorporated communities of Hickory, Southview and Westland. The student body is 91% White with a smattering of students who are Black, Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic/Latino.

The median household income in the Fort Cherry School District is $54,461.00, according to the PA School Boards Association, which is well below PA’s median family income of $73,056. Four out of ten students are economically disadvantaged, that is, they’re eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced price lunch program.

Online learning happens at Fort Cherry Cyber School.

GreatSchools reports that the average teacher salary in the district is $126,000.

Elementary Center

Students in the district attend Fort Cherry Elementary Center from kindergarten through 6th grade.

They learn the basics of English, math, science, arts, sociology, geography, history and economics, along with social skills.

Junior Senior High School

Starting in 7th grade, children attend the Junior Senior High School. Academics include numerous English, math and science classes, and classes about U.S. history, world conflict and cultures, political science, economics and psychology. Art and music are taught along with computer science and entrepreneurship. 7 vocational agriculture courses are available, and ten Advance Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate courses for college-bound students.

Student reading proficiency of 62% puts Fort Cherry students in the top one-third of students in PA. Their math proficiency stands at 34%, which is enough to put them in the top 50% for math in the state.

High school students in grades 10 to 12 can receive hands-on technical training in 15 areas that employers are hiring in, by attending the Western Area Career & Technology Center (WACTC). Many WACTC programs provide paid work during school in a real-world setting at actual employers. Certifications are available to provide credentials for jobs right after graduation.

Students in grades 9 to 12 can also attend the Parkway West Career and Technology Center to learn to be a diesel mechanic, study digital multimedia or become a veterinary assistant, according to the school district website.

Sports and Extracurricular

The Fort Cherry Rangers play in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). As a small school, the Rangers compete in class 1A or 2A, depending on the sport. Seasonal breakouts by sport may vary by grade-level and gender. This list isn’t intended to be comprehensive.

Fall sports:

  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Girls’ tennis is played with South Fayette High School.
  • Boys’ golf, and boys’ and girls’ Soccer are played with Washington High School.

Winter sports:

  • Basketball
  • Rifle.
  • Swimming is co-oped with South Fayette High School.
  • Wrestling

Spring sports:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Track
  • 7th and 8th can swim with students from South Fayette High School.

Fort Cherry athletics are live streamed on the NFHS Network, which is a paid service.

Students can participate in more than two dozen clubs and activities, from band, chorus and cheerleading to arts, yearbook and student council.


The Fort Cherry School District is overseen by a 9-member school board. Members are elected and serve without pay but are required to complete specific training requirements following their election. The Fort Cherry School District Offices are located at 110 Fort Cherry Road, McDonald, PA 15057 — same as both schools.

Schools in the Fort Cherry School District